Jones Act Overview
YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE JONES ACT
Federal maritime law governs claims relating to injured seamen. The Jones Act gives an injured seamen the right to seek compensation when he is negligently injured by his employer. Damages include compensation for past and future lost wages, compensation for lost earning capacity, compensation for pain and suffering, and payment of compensation for past and future medical expenses.
The Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30104, was enacted into law in the United States in 1920. Seamen who are employed on vessels in navigation are highly protected under Federal maritime law which provides that negligence is a cause of an injury if it contributes even in the slightest to the injury of a seaman. An employer owes each of his crewmen a safe place to work. The employer’s duties include the duty to reasonably train their crewmen and to institute proper procedures to protect a seaman from injury. Failure to maintain a vessel or failure to comply with safety regulations are actionable under the Jones Act.
Few accidents at sea are not preventable if reasonable safety precautions are followed. The lawyers at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC understand how accidents happen aboard ships and they know how those accidents can be prevented. They understand you, your injuries, and how those injuries will impact you the rest of your life.
The lawyers at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC have litigated and represented thousands of Jones Act seamen, including fishermen, tug and barge workers, pile drivers, ferry boat workers, masters, mates and pilots. The Jones Act provides coverage to all seamen who are more or less permanently connected to a vessel in navigation. For example Jones Act seamen include such workers as: crewmen on oil tankers, fishermen, tug and barge workers, pile drivers, and marine construction workers. Other examples of maritime workers covered by the Jones Act include card dealers on river boat casinos, bartenders and hairdressers on cruise ships, and fish processors. If the maritime workers’ efforts contribute to the mission of the vessel, they may be Jones Act seamen.
Compensation for injuries to Jones Act seamen can far exceed comparable compensation under State workers compensation systems or the Longshore Harbor Workers Act. However, the Jones Act is a fault based system; there can be no recovery for damages under the Jones Act unless the employer was negligent.
In addition to claims under the Jones Act, injured seamen are entitled to benefits under general maritime law including benefits for maintenance, cure and unearned wages. Vessel owners also owe seamen working aboard their vessels a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel.
If you have questions about your rights to compensation under the Jones Act, contact an experienced maritime lawyer at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC. They have recovered millions of dollars in compensation under the Jones Act for their clients located throughout the nation.